Palestinian presient Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli
prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a
handshake and a brief exchange of words at the
funeral of Shimon Peres.
The sombre ceremony for the former president and
prime minister of Israel was attended by world
leaders and dignitaries from 70 countries.
Mr Abbas, who had taken part in peace
negotiations with Mr Peres, was sat in the front
row for the ceremony on Mount Herzl in
Barack Obama, Prince Charles and Bill Clinton were
also at Israel’s national cemetery.
“It is that faith, that optimism, that belief, even
when all the evidence is to the contrary, that
tomorrow can be better, that makes us not just
honour Shimon Peres, but love him. The last of the
founding generation is now gone.
“Toda rabah haver yakar,” he added – Hebrew for
“Thank you so much dear friend”.
The Nobel Peace laureate considered one of the
founding fathers of Israel and his rich political
career spanned seven decades.
Obama left waiting by Clinton
Mr Netanyahu, who was a political rival to Peres,
recalled a late-night discussion on Israel’s future
with Mr Peres discussing security and peace.
“Be at peace, Shimon, dear man, exceptional
leader,” he said.
Clinton: ‘He was someone to listen to, learn from
and laugh with’
Friday’s ceremony was Israel’s largest gathering of
international dignitaries since the funeral of Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a
Jewish nationalist in 1995.
Mr Peres’ children described the personal side of
their father, with his daughter Tzvia Walden
reflecting on his “forbearance and infinite
She said: “He measured long and
short on a
timeline of two thousand years of history when
weighing the state of the nation, but in
nanoseconds when waiting for a text to be printed.